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Smith measure outlining economic impact of state's military, urging support approved

BY ELONA WESTON
BATON ROUGE -- A measure by Sen. John Smith, R-Leesville, that outlines the economic impact of military installations on Louisiana and urges support for them in light of budget threats has received approval in the state Senate.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 92 was signed by the Senate president on Thursday.

The measure urges the state, through the governor, to recognize the impact of the military on Louisiana and to, "resource adequately those efforts designed to protect and promote the missions, quality of life and economic viability of Louisiana's military installations and defense communities."

The resolution says that Moody Analytics' Precis lists the number one, four and five largest employers in the state -- other than state government -- as Fort Polk, Barksdale Air Force Base and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base ..."

It also says the 2013 Statewide Military Economic Impact Analysis, commissioned by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, indicates an annual military economic impact of $8.7 billion to the Louisiana economy.

"The military economy supports 82,000 jobs throughout Louisiana, representing 4.35 percent of total state employment, annually contributes $287.3 million in state and local revenue, and represents 2.20 percent of Louisiana's gross domestic product ...," the resolution continues.

The economic impact on various regions of the state, according to the measure, is as follows:
Central Louisiana: $1.76 billion
Acadiana: $286 million
Bayou: $527 million
Capital region: $793 million
Northeast: $141 million
Northwest: $1.86 billion
Southeast: $2.86 billion
Southwest: $508 million


The annual economic impact -- broken down per military location, according to the measure, is as follows:
Fort Polk and Joint Readiness Training Center: $2.17 billion
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base-New Orleans, Belle Chasse: $573 million
Marine Corps Support Facility-New Orleans: $269 million
Space and Naval Warfare System Center Atlantic, Detachment New Orleans: $147 million
Louisiana National Guard: $694 million


Smith's resolution notes that deep cuts are possible. It says the fiscal year 2015 budget for the U.S. Department of Defense will shrink -- by more than $75 billion over the next two years with more cuts possible, "pending the full enactment of 'sequestration' ..."

"The Legislature of Louisiana does hereby recognize the irreplaceable impact of the military on the Louisiana economy and that action to protect Louisiana's defense communities must be swift and sufficient," the resolution states.

View Senate Concurrent Resolution 92 in its entirety HERE.
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